Compiling years of collective experience, thoughtbot has just released their playbook for anyone who wants to build web and mobile applications.  The playbook covers a variety of techniques that make web and mobile applications successful, like customer development, programming language selection, hiring, metrics, and more. Basically, the reader gets thoughtbot’s two cents on their entire working process from start to finish.

“We started playbook as our ‘client handbook,'” said Dan Croak, thoughtbot’s CMO. “It was the stuff we’ve learned while consulting and wanted to share efficiently with new clients and friends.”

playbook is a fantastic resource; I personally learned a ton going through it. Although it is worth a read in its entirety, here are some of the playbook’s gems:

  • “Startup lore is filled with glorious stories of late nights eating Ramen and coding out those features that will make millions. Reality is that the best features were probably created during bank hours.” (Sustainable Pace)
  • Tools they recommend: Heroku for hosting, SendGrid for email, Google Analytics for traffic, NewRelic RPM for performance, Airbrake for error tracking
  • “A perfect team in our opinion is a visionary, a designer, and a developer” (Building a Team)
  • “Few software projects fail because they aren’t complicated enough.” (Discussions)
  • “Ruby on Rails web apps tend to be fast to market and have a low total cost of ownership” (Web Apps)
  • “Every morning, we get together as a team for 10 minutes at 10 AM.” (Daily standups)
  • thoughtbot’s language preferences are Ruby on the server-side and Javascript/Coffeescript on the client-side (Programming Languages)
  • thoughtbot doesn’t believe in writing extensive requirements documents for development projects. Instead, they recommend having a clear product vision, UI sketches, working software and the ability to respond to changes (Getting Started)
  • “The most sustainable competitive advantages for web products today are user experience and unique data” (Strengths)

There is a plethora of information in playbook; be sure to bookmark it as a resource and continue to check in as it evolves.